Well it is lambing time again and we are into the second week of my 54th lambing at Hudscales and, needless to say, they have varied greatly over the years.
We have had years – though not many – when we could barely see the newborn lambs in the grass and we have had years when there was a cold easterly wind and no grass whatsoever.
Last year’s snowdrifts covered the lambs, meaning you did not know what to do with them. This year there has been no snow but it has been very changeable and cold but with very little grass.
Putting all the ewes inside has given the fields time to clean up and not be poached. Lambing so far is average. Just after putting the ewes inside several went lame and the stress caused what I think was a mild attack of twin lamb disease and some of the ewes lost a lot of flesh.
We seem to have got past this now and, fingers crossed, we are doing quite well with only one ewe death since tupping time.
Last year we hired a lamb feeding machine for the triplets we took off their mothers, but with the high cost of milk powder and all the work the company ended up in debt.
This year we have been selling one lamb off all the triplets and so far it has worked well, but as lambs become more plentiful demand may dry up. Andrew is doing all the night time and early morning lambing and seems to be coping well.
Last week we took some cattle to Carlisle, which were bulls and heifers. Unfortunately, the bull trade has suffered recently, so trade was not fantastic.
Next year they will all be bullocks except for the odd one which might make a bull. Silage was going down fast, but I am sure with only six to eight weeks to turning out we will have plenty.